Top 25 College Football: Perfect Irish in BCS Title Game
Theo Riddick rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown, Kyle Brindza kicked five field goals, and the top-ranked Irish secured a spot in the BCS championship game with a 22-13 victory over Southern California. Everett Golson passed for 217 yards as the 12-0 Fighting Irish completed their first perfect regular season since 1988. The Irish earned a trip to Miami on Jan. 7 and will play the winner of the Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game next Saturday.
Notre Dame's hard-nosed defense appropriately made the decisive stand in the final minutes. The Irish kept USC out of the end zone on four plays from the Irish 1 with 2:33 to play. USC finished 7-5.
In other AP Top-25 football:
-- Alabama has reached the SEC championship game, which effectively has become a semifinal for the national championship game. AJ McCarron passed for four touchdowns and Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and two scores to lead the Crimson Tide to a 49-0 rout of rival Auburn in the most lopsided Iron Bowl in 64 years. Next up for the second-ranked Tide is Georgia.
-- Aaron Murray threw two touchdown passes, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall each ran for a pair of TDs to lead No. 3 Georgia to a 42-10 rout of Georgia Tech. The victory keeps the 11-1 Bulldogs in the thick of the national championship race.
-- Carlos Hyde ran for 146 yards and No. 4 Ohio State's defense shut out 20th-ranked Michigan in the second half to grab a bruising 26-21 victory. The win completes an improbable 12-0 season for the Buckeyes who are ineligible for post-season play. Michigan finishes 8-4 and will now await a minor bowl bid.
-- Fifth-ranked Oregon recovered from its loss to Stanford last week by rolling over Oregon State 48-24. The 10-1 Ducks got three touchdown runs from De'Anthon Thomas and two from Kenjon Barner to keep their faint hopes for a national championship shot alive. Thomas ran for 198 yards and Barner added 122 rushing. - Mike Gillislee ran for two touchdowns and No. 6 Florida scored 24 straight points in the fourth quarter to defeat Florida State 37-26 and keep its national title hopes alive.
-- Heisman Trophy hopeful Johnny Manziel threw for 372 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores as No. 9 Texas A&M beat Missouri 59-29.
-- Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns, Kevin Hogan passed for 160 yards and another score, and No. 11 Stanford beat No. 15 UCLA 35-17 to win the Pacific-12 Conference North title. Stanford will host a rematch with the Bruins Friday in the Pac-12 Conference championship game.
-- Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns, Jadeveon Clowney had 4 1-2 sacks and No. 13 South Carolina won its fourth straight over 12th-ranked Clemson 27-17. Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier became the school's victories leader with 65 in eight seasons.
-- Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns, and Brennan Clay scored on an 18-yard run in overtime to lift No. 14 Oklahoma to a 51-48 win against No. 22 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam rivalry.
-- Chad Christen kicked a 30-yard field goal in the third overtime to give Connecticut a 23-20 upset win over No. 19 Louisville. - Tino Sunseri passed for 227 yards and two touchdowns in his final home game as Pittsburgh overwhelmed No. 21 Rutgers 27-6.
-- Chuckie Keeton passed for two touchdowns to lead 25th-ranked Utah State to a 45-9 drubbing of Idaho to secure its first outright conference title in 76 years. The Western Athletic Conference champion Aggies also got a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown from senior Will Davis.
-- Bo Wallace threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns, Donte Moncrief caught three TD passes and Mississippi pulled away in the second half to beat No. 25 Mississippi State 41-24.
See other NationalSports news:No Investigation Planned for Jahlil Okafor Fight, Boston Police Say
Johnny Manziel Loses Starting Position over Lie About Partying Video
Brett Favre Given Key to the City and Packers Retire His Number
Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo Suffers Collarbone Injury
Redskins Lose Cornerback Chris Culliver for Season to Torn ACL